Browsing Month April, 2008

How to buy a dictionary

It’s what you might call service journalism, but it’s something I’ve been seeing a need to write for a while: How to buy a dictionary, my latest column in the Malaysia Star. … A popular question from English language-learners and native speakers alike is, “What dictionary should I use or buy?” There are many bad more…

Guthrie is 13 months old today.

Guthrie is 13 months old today. He has dozens more words, including “cracker” and “baboon,” (acquired after a trip the zoo). We were there again today. He says “baboon!” “BABOON!” when he sees them. And when he sees meerkats. The meerkats don’t mind. The visit to the petting farm was also a big hit. The more…

Jinx and padiddle: games we play

My latest column in the Malaysia Star is about the words that go with the games we play when something unexpected happens. Not games of chance, but games of whimsy. … Rituals and superstitions and the words that go with them are a favourite topic on the radio show I co-host. Our listeners can’t get more…

Saying it wrong on purpose

My latest column in the Malaysia Star is about words we say wrong on purpose. Update: There’s a lively conversation on this topic now underway at Jason Kottke’s blog. … There are, technically speaking, two Internets. One—Internet2—is used privately by universities, scientists, corporations, and the US government agencies. The other, which we might call the more…